Training Recap – Week of July 21, 2014

Turns out THIS was the last week of my speedwork module before “official” training for Baystate starts. Let’s pretend that it was also a planned cutback week, shall we? I probably needed one, and though it wasn’t planned, I wound up not doing quite the mileage/runs I’d wanted or planned due to fatigue and soreness. It’s a bit frustrating and I’m trying to figure out what’s going on. I also was in the office M-W and busier for work Th/F than usual. May be a phase at work, and not sure how my applying for my supervisor’s old job might change my busy-ness level in the future (but I’m going to apply anyway, so hopefully one of the three of us women doing my job gets it rather than someone outside the team…).

Anyway…this coming week, starting 7/28, IS the first week of training for Baystate. Gulp. Tues & Th are pretty hard runs per my plan. Thursday has the added fun that the electric company will cut our power for 5-6 hours starting at 10am Thursday (one of my telework days) AND a day my car is in for pricey servicing. So, I may do the run then go into the office or wind up taking part of the day off.

Run:

  • T – 7mi with 4 mi at MGP! (average pace for this run was right around my BQ pace!) Earlier than normal and shorter too – had to get this in before going in to the office.
  • W – 5.5mi ez pace run (faster than recovery pace)
  • Th – 8mi – 1 mi w/u, 1mi 30s faster, then 8 x (0.25mi at 23s faster than MGP, 0.25 recover) then 2mi c/d. This was supposed to be 12-16 reps at this pace, but I could tell I didn’t have it in me. Intervals not too bad tho tired, legs tired, felt cardio/lung effort. Just felt cooked. Had chiro appt at lunchtime where he did ART/trigger point on my glutes (OW), massage (which hit my glutes as well) at 5pm. I was quite sore Th night, but legs and glutes felt better on Friday, generally. My energy was just really low. Even chiro, who always starts by asking me how I am, what’s going on..when I said “I’m tired and cranky” said “you LOOK tired”. He thought perhaps I was dehydrated from the heat and humidity, so I tried some coconut water later. He said always check hydration, nutrition and sleep as the first three things before thinking anything unusual is wrong, and chatted with me about his experiences when those factors are “off” in his training. As usual, he made me feel better (even with the pain he inflicted). I go to him almost as much for his mental support sometimes!
  • Sat – 17mi – 1mi w/u, 5mi ez pace, 11mi faster ez pace (~1min slower than MGP). Not exactly what I’d wanted/planned for last LR of speed module. My made-up run was to have 16-20 with 2x3mi at MGP. But as soon as I got started this morning, though I wasn’t as wiped or sore as Thursday, I could tell it was not going to happen and probably wasn’t a good idea to try. So I adapted. And you got this tweet out of it:
some days

some days

  • Sun – 6.2 recovery pace miles. Tired. Hormones, maybe a little melatonin hangover. Low energy. Legs not too sore or heavy, but could feel they weren’t “fresh”. (wonder if mine ever are!) Feet rubbing against shoes more than usual, or maybe more aware. Reminded me I need to start looking at other shoe options and possibly new orthotics. (the to-do list grows…I groan) Thank goodness for podcasts. Today’s was UltraRunnerPodcast with Joe Fejes. I’m looking forward to following the Six Days in the Dome race next weekend. Can’t believe there was even a possibility that RayK, currently doing the Sri Chinmoy 3100 mile race, would turn around and go to Alaska for this one. Would have been cool but sounds like it may not happen. I met Ray once – had no idea how big in the community and standings he is….he was so nice and gracious and gave me all sorts of great info and encouragement. Love ultrarunners! (well, pretty much all runners, but ultrarunners do seem a bit different – one more reason for me to join the ranks)

Bike: 2 (M/F) 1hr, plus 45 min after Saturday’s long run
Core: 3 (M AM/Tues eve/F AM) – still wimpy, but not as bad as last week. Friday’s was pretty decent.
Wharton flex: Mon, Tues, Wed, Th, Fri, Sat, Sun
Yoga: None. Unless you count bow pose and my core routine. 
Chiro exercises: None. Need to pick up at least the “ohnos” (skaters) again, per chiro instruction.
Myrtl routine: 2 full (T/Th), 2 partial (Sat & Sun – only mobility work)
Calf stretches: T, Th, Sat, Sun
Elliptical: None. Might have been one day in the office I could have done it, but I had no real energy or desire to.
Pool: None.
Walk: pre-run 15 min warmups
Drills: before every run – lunge matrix, high knees, skips, butt kicks, butt kicks moving in reverse, karaoke
Other: weekly chiro visit, Th night massage. All the massage therapists I see have most of their hours on the weekend, and they fill up fast, so I had to take what I could get. I definitely need more massages (this is more sports/tissue) and more trigger point massages, so I’ll just have to adjust my Sat/Sun routines and try to schedule as far in advance as possible.

Thinking of things I need to add/step up: foot strengthening exercises, more rolling, pool run/swim/elliptical. I need to be multiple people!

Miscellaneous on Fatigue/Nutrition

if you follow me on twitter, you may have noted that again Thursday, I was saying how tired I was. (I might call it whining, but I try not to whine or complain, or even whinge or b*tch, so for the moment I’m cutting myself some slack. Note the date and time.) This led to some twitter back and forth with Coach Brett of Zen and the Art of Triathlon (he’d recently talked on a podcast about being too low-carb, and how it affected his performance and caused depression, and how he sees this happen in athletes he deals with). He suggested I start taking in more sugar, but since I eat very little sugar (that isn’t in fruit) and can’t have things like orange juice, I decided to try a return to sweet potatoes. I was pretty frustrated though as I got a bad batch – cooked multiples and they were just nasty inside, couldn’t eat them. Friday I finally got a small one that worked, put some nut butter on it, and had it along with a high protein and high fiber breakfast (what I’ve been doing lately). I did NOT have the dreaded one-hour-later blood sugar/energy drop/hunger, which surprised me. (maybe if you’re scraping bottom on carb stores, eating them works better) I also ate some watermelon chunks and strawberries during the day and some frozen cherries along with my frozen banana and nut butter snack in the evening. (I eat that a lot, so I’m not THAT low carb.) I felt better Friday than I had Thursday, that’s for sure. Less tired, less sore.

On the other hand, this did NOT carry over into Saturday’s long run, though I slept pretty well Friday night. I had gel at mile 6 and 10, helped temporarily – and at least I didn’t crash from it. Cooked a huge Japanese sweet potato (all I could find) and ate 1/4 of it (170g) with nut butter and coco manna about 90 min after my long run and recovery drink (protein, carbs). I didn’t enjoy it that much, and it didn’t make me feel better, though I don’t think it made me feel worse, and I didn’t get the “1hr” effect. So perhaps I’ll continue the experiment for a while longer. After all, I was eating sweet potatoes daily when I BQ’d – but one must try to get better AND be open to the changes the body wants/needs. Sunday, along with the usual bacon & egg whites, I tried more of the sweet potato (ugh), then part of a paleo waffle with some maple butter on it, then some kabocha with nut butter. None of it really made me feel better, less tired/more energetic. Felt like I was sort of panic-eating carbs to try to make myself feel better, which would have been ok if it worked, but leaves me with calorie guilt when it doesn’t. Frustrating.

During my Saturday run, I listened to this episode of Endurance Planet with Tawnee Prazak, discussing sports nutrition topics with Dr. Tamsin Lewis, a triathlete (recently Ironman UK champion) and doctor (psychiatrist?). I don’t always agree with Dr. Lewis (just like I don’t always agree with Ben Greenfield, who’s another sports nutrition person on EP) but…The episode had one question (which didn’t get a long enough answer IMHO) on nutrition for peri-menopausal and menopausal (female) athletes. (I do think some of my ups and downs are the hormone swings of peri-menopause, which are out of my control….and that’s REALLY frustrating.)

About the only thing I found useful in the response was the suggestion that most of us should be taking supplemental B vitamins if we’re not eating packaged food that is loaded with them (like your standard box of breakfast cereal or bread). I used to take them as I know some of my meds deplete them, but it’s hard to find a B complex that isn’t ridiculously high % of RDA. I realize most if not all B vitamins are water-soluble, but I wondered if excess it might make my body work harder to eliminate what it doesn’t need (no basis for that though). Eventually I started taking a sublingual spray of B-12 as I was a little low, and the PPI I take for my stomach means I wouldn’t absorb a regular supplement well – a common side effect of long-term PPI is is B-12 deficiency (and low calcium, joy). I’ve slacked off on that and am wondering about taking a complex again too. I dug out a bottle of a “B-50” complex I used to take that’s still good, so I have started taking it (Sunday). Yep, I’ll try almost anything to improve performance/energy (legally) that I can convince myself is safe and doesn’t have potential to cause me additional problems or interact with my ongoing situations/meds.

It’s also about that time to see my doc for the annual “wouldn’t do it if she wouldn’t withhold rx for my essential meds” physical and bloodwork, so I may ask to make sure I get B, iron and ferritin tested along with the usual stuff (and any unusual stuff I think of, like maybe cortisol through a saliva test). Last year, my ferritin came back low for an athlete, and though the doc (who isn’t used to treating athletes) wasn’t concerned, she said I could take supplemental iron if I wanted. So for a while I’ve been taking a heme iron supplement called ProFerrin. It’s pretty low dose and my stomach tolerates it well – two things that are important for me, especially given the convoluted timing scheme I have to follow for supplements and meds. I do think I notice effects when I miss a day or two – which tends to happen on the weekends when my eating schedule is thrown off.

So, the experiment of n=1 that is me continues…..would love to know if you’ve had similar challenges and if so, how you’ve solved them!

Have a great week!